Monday, December 13, 2010

Angel Harp by Michael Phillips

What a lovely, lovely book...I thoroughly enjoyed it.

Widowed at 40, lonely, wondering what to do now after she had let years pass by since the death of her husband, "Angel" Dawn Marie decided to vacation in Scotland. Her car trip through the Highlands and towns was calming for her. She found the town of Port Scarnose to be magical, and instead of continuing to other places, she decided to remain there for the rest of her vacation. She chose Port Scarnose because of its quaintness and mainly because of a bench overlooking the sea where she first played her harp on Scottish soil...this is where the magic began for her.

All too soon, though, her three-week vacation was coming to a close. She had fallen in love with Scotland and its people, but she had to make a decision about extending her stay or heading back to Canada...what should she do? Should she stay or leave?

Her decision was definitely affected by circumstances and the people she met. Her dinner with Iain Barclay and her new-found friendship with 12-year-old Gwendolyn undeniably made the decision a little easier. She decided she "had" to stay for sweet Gwendolyn's sake....Gwendolyn loved to play the harp and had a natural talent. What she didn't know, though, was that her decision may have been more complicated than she realized because of a connection between Iain, Gwendolyn, and the Duke, who invited her to his castle to play the harp. The secrets of the relationships among these three interesting characters unravel as the story continues.

Marie's adventures continued with these characters and others, and she felt she was finding herself spiritually as well as becoming happy in the midst of the magic of Scotland's people and its landscape. To the extent that Scotland was making her blossom and was good for her, Marie was good for the town of Port Scarnose and its citizens. Everyone she came in contact with became a happier person and found things in themselves they didn't know existed.

If you enjoy Scottish history and listening/reading the written Gaelic brogue, you will fall in love with the book and definitely the characters. The characters were amazing and made you wish you could actually sit with them for the day and enjoy chatting and working along with them. Hearing the author mention different places in Scotland was also a treat knowing that I had been there as well.

The Gaelic brogue used by the town's people was the only, but minor drawback.…it was a little difficult to read and understand, but you could get the gist of the exchange. Nonetheless, it did add an authentic touch to the characters during their conversations with Marie. The religious theme throughout the story will have you examining your own personal beliefs. 5/5

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